More thoughts on Tribblegate
You know, if there's one thing that seems to unite many of us with academic blogs, it seems to be that we have a reasonable dose of skepticism about the academy and our place in it.
In fact, I rather suspect that is the real threat perceived by Dr. Tribble and those search-committee colleagues who agreed with his assessments. Upon the basis of the majority of the academic blogs I read, I'd say he's right in his assumption that most bloggers are not going to mindlessly fall into lock-step with whatever their institution decides is right, just for the sake of some mafia-esque code of loyalty.
In fact, I'd say that it's often (though not always and not only) in academic blogs that I've found the healthy questioning, the honest intellectual engagement, and the commitment to a continuing and reciprocal education I expected to find in the bricks-and-mortar academy in my less disgruntled days. I'd even go so far as to assert that some academic blogs, and perhaps even the wider community of academic bloggers as a whole, is where much of the real conscience of academia now resides.
It certainly doesn't reside in the kind of petty, self-satisfied, pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain attitude that gets published all too often in The Chronicle and which seems to be the reigning ideology in far, far too much of the academic world.
In other words, I think there are good reasons for the sorts of folks who tend to get published in the Chronicle to view blogs with fear and loathing. To be perfectly honest, I don't think we're likely to be counted among their allies.